Are you prepared/preparing for retirement?
By Michael Cave
At least according to some findings from last year's President Obama's White House Task Force on the middle class. A total of 78 million workers, roughly half of this nation's workforce, lacked any kind of employer-based retirement plan. In addition, according to the Investment Company Institute study in 2008, only 14 percent of U.S. households eligible to make contributions to individual retirement accounts did so.
This coupled with the issue of longer life expectancies — the National Center for Health Statistics reports that Americans life expectancy has risen to 77.8 years compared to 69.7 years in 1960 — have Americans woefully underprepared for retirement.
Americans now fear by a 61 percent margin outliving their assets more than death. In addition, Americans fear the roller coaster and volatility of the stock market.
What to do?
One solution: fixed annuities!
Touted by the Obama administration, as well as recent articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, fixed annuities provide safety, security and guaranteed income you can not outlive.
An annuity is simply a contact between you and an insurance company, where you agree to give the insurance company money now and it guarantees to pay you a life time stream of income at a future date that you determine. Fixed annuities are not intended to be the end all, be all retirement solution, but supplemented by Social Security can be designed to meet and cover basic living expenses.